Christ and the Adulteress

Christ and the Adulteress

Titles

Christ and the Adulteress

[cda 2011]

Christus mit der Ehebrecherin

[Verzeichnis 1826, fol. 74, No. 170][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 53]

Painting on beech wood

Medium

Painting on beech wood

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 53, 214]
[Klein, Report 1994]

The small format panel in Gotha depicts the encounter between Jesus and the adulteress, an event frequently represented by Cranach and his workshop. Jesus is positioned in the centre of a composition set against a black background, and wears a blue undergarment and a luminous red cloak. He holds the

The small format panel in Gotha depicts the encounter between Jesus and the adulteress, an event frequently represented by Cranach and his workshop. Jesus is positioned in the centre of a composition set against a black background, and wears a blue undergarment and a luminous red cloak. He holds the sinner's wrist in his left hand and points towards her with his right hand. The woman is shown with a slightly inclined head, looking out at the viewer. She wears a red dress with the lacing open to reveal her breasts. Her right arm is held by a man in armour. A second soldier at the left edge holds a number of stones at the ready for the execution. Further scribes and Pharisees stand either side of the adulteress and Jesus.

[Benjamin D. Spira, in Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 198]

Attributions
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Younger

Attributions

Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder

[cda 2010]

'Nach Lucas Cranach der Jüngere'
[Exhibit. Cat. Gotha 1994, 53]
'Cranach's Schule'
[Schneider 1868, Abt. V, No. 103]

Lucas Cranach the Younger

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha/Kassel 2015, 198]
'Scheibler: Vielleicht Cranach d. J.'
[Aldenhoven 1890, No. 364, Fn. p. 126]

Lucas Cranach the Elder

'von Lucas Cranachen: ein Original'[1]
[1][Inventar 1721, fol. 166, No. 68]
[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, No. 1.23]

Production date
about 1540 - 1550

Production date

about 1540 - 1550

[...] '[...] This little painting could not have been produced before about 1545.[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 53]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 14.7 x 19.7 x 0.25 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 14.7 x 19.7 x 0.25 cm

  • [cda 2010]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia top centre, to the right of Christ's head (probably later addition): winged serpent, facing left; in yellow paint.

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia top centre, to the right of Christ's head (probably later addition): winged serpent, facing left; in yellow paint.

Inscriptions and Labels
- below the top edge: 'WER VNTER EVCH ON SVNDE IST. DER WERFE DEN ERSTEN STEIN AVFF SIE. IOHANN. AM …

Inscriptions and Labels

Inscriptions, Badges:

  • - below the top edge:
  • 'WER VNTER EVCH ON SVNDE IST. DER WERFE DEN ERSTEN STEIN AVFF SIE. IOHANN. AM VIII.'

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • Reverse of the panel: - top, centre:
  • in red 'A' or 'AL' linked;
  • - on the right:
  • in black paint: a horizontal 'i'
  • [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 53]
  • - right side:
  • printed yellow label: 'Schloßmuseum Gotha/Inv. Nr.:/S.G. Nr.:/Alte Nr.:'; handwritten entry in black: '51'; '11'; '364'.
  • - bottom centre:
  • handwritten in red ink: 'Zentral-Museum/Gotha/11/(364)'
Owner
Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
Repository
Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
Location
Gotha
CDA ID
DE_SMG_SG11
FR (1978) Nr.
FR-none
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMG_SG11/

Provenance

  • recorded in Gotha Castle since 1721[Inventar 1721, fol. 166, No. 68][1]

[1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 53]

Exhibitions

Gotha 1994, No. 1.23
Gotha 2001, No. 1.25
Gotha, Kassel 2015, No. 55

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015 198, 199 55 Pl. p. 199
EditorJulia Carrasco, Justus Lange, Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha, Benjamin D. Spira, Timo Trümper
TitleBild und Botschaft. Cranach im Dienst von Hof und Reformation, [Gotha, Herzogliches Museum; Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Schloss Wilhelmshöhe]
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
Year of Publication2015
Spira 2015 57, 58 Fig. 8
AuthorBenjamin D. Spira
TitleLucas Cranach, der Maler Luthers. Der Hofmaler und der Reformator - Bindung, Bilder und Bedeutung
Publicationin Julia Carrasco, Justus Lange, Benjamin D. Spira, Timo Trümper, Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein Gotha and Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, eds., Bild und Botschaft. Cranach im Dienst von Hof und Reformation, [Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel]
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
Year of Publication2015
Pages51-62
Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2001 1.25
EditorGotha Kultur, Allmuth Schuttwolf
TitleErnst der Fromme (1601-1675), Bauherr und Sammler. Katalog zum 400. Geburtstag Herzog Ernsts I. von Sachsen-Gotha und Altenburg
Place of PublicationGotha
Year of Publication2001
Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994 53
EditorStiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
TitleGotteswort und Menschenbild. Werke von Cranach und seinen Zeitgenossen
Place of PublicationGotha
Year of Publication1994
Klein 1994 B 214
AuthorPeter Klein
TitleHolzartenbestimmung und dendrochronologische Analyse an Gemäldetafeln von Lucas Cranach d.Ä. und seiner Werkstatt
PublicationAllmuth Schuttwolf, ed., Gotteswort und Menschenbild. Werke von Cranach und seinen Zeitgenossen, Exhib. Cat. Gotha
Place of PublicationGotha
Year of Publication1994
Pages210-219
Schade, Schuttwolf 1994 53, 77 1.23 Fig. p. 53, Pl. p. 77
AuthorWerner Schade, Allmuth Schuttwolf
TitleMalerei und Plastik
Publicationin Allmuth Schuttwolf, ed., Gotteswort und Menschenbild. Werke von Cranach und seinen Zeitgenossen, Exhib. Cat. Gotha
Place of PublicationGotha
Year of Publication1994
Pages15-94

Research History / Discussion

[...] the panel in Gotha is recorded in the castle of Friedenstein as early as 1721. Furthermore the inventory from that date states that the panel originally came from Altenburg. Like Saxony-Gotha the duchy of Saxony-Altenburg was also created by the division of land among the descendants of Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous. The panel in Gotha was therefore most probably once the property of the ernestine electors.

In addition to the panel in Gotha only one other panel from the 16th century is recorded as having been created within a lutheran context: the St Annaberg panel, an epitaph for Elizabeth Kantz who died in 1571.

Schade and Schuttwolf are justified in their doubts on the authourship of the small format panel. However despite this the original insignia and the stylistic characteristics leave no doubt that it was created in the workshop. Furthermore the dimensions of the panel support this attribution. The dimension of the panel correspond with formats repeatedly employed by the Cranach workshop, like among others: portraits of Luther and Katharina von Bora, Philipp Melanchton, Friedrich the Wise and Johannes the Steadfast.

[Benjamin D. Spira, in Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 198]

  • Christ and the Adulteress, about 1540 - 1550

Images

Compare images
  • overall
  • overall
  • reverse
  • irr
  • detail
  • detail
  • detail
  • detail
  • detail

Technical studies

04. 2010Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

- an underdrawing is not readily visible

[Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]

  • photographed by Gunnar Heydenreich
  • photographed by Ingo Sandner

17.03.1994Scientific analysis

  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology

Support

'The panel consists of a single beechwood plank (14.7 x 19.7 cm). 101 annual rings were measured, that match the beech wood chronology between the years 1530 and 1430. The most recent annual ring dated is from the year 1530. Usually with beech wood the entire transverse section was used and only the bark removed, therefore the earliest felling date is 1530. Considering a two year seasoning period the painting could have been created no earlier than 1532.'

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 53]

  • analysed by Peter Klein

1966Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • X-radiography

'Pendent to Inv.-No. 46/6. There is also a very careful application of lead white here. The flesh paint is three dimensional. '/' shaped character beneath the Inscription under the word 'werfe'. (Corresponds to an 'A' on the reverse). No Pentimenti. Many losses are visible, which have been filled with lead white. The wood grain runs vertically. Evaluation: The x-radiography shows that both paintings exhibit significant calligraphic and painterly qualities. A painting with a similar figurative composition 'The dying man', L. Cranach d. Ä, Leipzig exhibits broader brushstrokes. It is possible that the painting in Gotha was the work of his son.'

Martin Meier-Siem, Hamburg 1966

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 53]

  • examined by Martin Meier-Siems

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Christ and the Adulteress', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMG_SG11/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
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